Thursday, July 24, 2008

Republican oil man challenges McCain's call for off shore drilling

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain is betting his proposal to reduce gas prices by ending the ban on off shore drilling for oil will reap big political dividends.

McCain has begun running an advertisement on drilling (including in Milwaukee), is discussing drilling at campaign appearances and was planning a trip to an oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday until weather conditions postponed that visit.

His proposal has been rejected by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama who argues that we can't drill our way to lower prices; that the solution to rising crude oil prices is developing alternative forms of energy.

Obama's position has received support from a surprising source-none other than billionaire oilman and long time Republican operative T. Boone Pickens..

Timothy Egan writes about these strange bedfellow developments in today's New York Times:

T. Boone Pickens says, in a $58 million campaign,...that we can’t drill our way to lower gas prices. By implication, anybody who tells you otherwise — including the fellow Texan he helped put in the White House — is a fraud...

Totally misleading” is the way Pickens describes Republican attempts to convince the public that if we just opened up all these forbidden areas to oil drilling then gas prices would fall. He’s not against new drilling, but he is honest enough to say it wouldn’t do anything...

Pickens was a geologist before he found a deep pool of money, so when he says “the geology just isn’t there” to reduce oil imports through new drilling in offshore areas, he has some cred...

Meanwhile, looking bravely to the past, Bush and McCain are trying to convince us that more oil drilling will save us from $5-a-gallon gas. History says otherwise. The number of oil and gas permits on federal land doubled in the last five years, with no effect on price or supply. And Bush’s own Energy Information Administration says increased drilling wouldn’t move the market in the short term.

McCain knows this, despite the brazen lie in his Obama gas ad. He now says drilling offshore would have “a psychological impact.” Just like that “mental recession” his former chief economic adviser Phil Gramm spoke of. These guys need to get off the couch.

The entire article is linked.


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